Rick Voight

ODU Wins 5th Straight & Claims 3rd Place After 62-61 Thriller at UTEP

March 02, 2017
By ODU Athletics

EL PASO, Texas – Two Zoran Talley free-throws with two seconds left lifted the Old Dominion men’s basketball team (19-10, 12-5) over UTEP (13-16, 11-6) by a 62-61 score in front of 8,663 at the Don Haskins Center on Thursday night. With the win, the Monarchs claim third place in the 2017 Conference USA Tournament. ODU has now won five straight.

Travis Fields’ third career three-pointer extended ODU’s lead to six, 44-38, at the 9:54 mark of the second half. Fellow ODU newcomer Allasane Kah followed with a mid-range jumper to give the Monarchs a 48-38 advantage with 8:08 to play. 

ODU held UTEP without a field goal for 8:23, as Old Dominion claimed its largest lead of the contest, 51-40, with 7:03 remaining in regulation. The Miners answered with a 21-9 run to take a 61-60 lead with 23.6 seconds remaining.

Following Talley’s made free-throws, UTEP’s Matt Willms last second tip-in was waived off after an official review.

“This was a big win for us,” said ODU head coach Jeff Jones. “We knew this would be a tough game. UTEP is a very good team. We had just enough to pull this out. UTEP had a great crowd and this was an awesome college basketball game. This is one of those games that it is unfortunate one of the teams has to lose. We are thrilled with the win.”

Talley poured in a game-high 17 points, while connecting on all five free-throw attempts. B.J. Stith followed with 12 points, six rebounds and two assists. Denzell Taylor grabbed a game-high nine rebounds to go along with six points and two steals. The Monarchs’ bench outscored the Miners’, 32-16.

In a first half that the Monarchs trailed by as many as seven, ODU claimed a four-point lead, 31-27, at halftime, behind a half-high 11 points from B.J. Stith. Denzell Taylor hauled down a half-high six rebounds, while Old Dominion held an 8-0 advantage for second chance points.

Old Dominion will be back in action on Saturday, March 4, at UTSA for a 4:00 p.m. EST tipoff, which will air on C-USA TV. 

Radio for Saturday
Old Dominion Senior Associate Athletic Director Ted Alexander will take care of the play-by-play duties, while ODU Hall of Famer and former NBA champion Dave Twardzik will handle color commentary. Ted and Dave’s live pregame show will begin at 3:30 EST on Saturday.

Radio: ODU Sports Network - ESPN Radio 94.1 FM (Norfolk), ESPN 950 AM WXGI (Richmond), 94.1 FM WLVA and Fox Sports 580 AM (Lynchburg). 

UTSA boasts a 7-10 conference record, most recently coming off a one point loss at home to Charlotte. The Roadrunners have two players averaging double-figures, Jeff Beverly (15.9 ppg) and Nick Billingsley (11.1 ppg). UTSA is 10-3 at home this season and 5-3 on its own hardwood in C-USA play. Saturday will mark Senior Day for the Roadrunners.

-Saturday might marks the fifth all-time meeting between the two schools.
-­­The series is tied 2-2 between both schools.
-ODU won the last meeting between the schools late last season (02/27/2016), 78-56. 

For a more in-depth look into the men’s basketball program, be sure to follow @ODUMBB on Twitter, ‘ODU Basketball” on Facebook and odu_mbb on Instagram.

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